Written by Grant Maloy Smith, the data acquisition expert

In this article we will discuss how you can perform machine condition monitoring with Dewesoft condition monitoring systems so that you will learn:

  • See what parameters can be measured 
  • Learn what faults can be detected
  • Understand in details the key elements of the Dewesoft MCM solution

Are you ready to get started?

What Parameters Can Be Measured and What Faults Can Be Detected?

Dewesoft offers a variety of affordable, easy to install permanent monitoring solutions for machine condition-based monitoring across a wide range of industrial and rotating machinery, including turbines, motors, gearboxes, pumps, wind generators, hydropower plants, and others. Dewesoft’s solution offers an easy to use approach to identify problems of the critical machinery at the right time.

Dewesoft machine condition monitoring

What Parameters Can We Measure and Observe?

  • Temperature monitoring
  • Vibration monitoring
  • Strain monitoring
  • Pressure monitoring
  • Rotational speed monitoring
  • Force monitoring
  • Flow monitoring
  • Oil condition monitoring

What Faults Can We Detect?

  • Bearing faults
  • Overheating
  • Shaft imbalance
  • Detached mounting
  • Gear-tooth failure
  • Load misalignment
  • Stator eccentricity
  • Other machine catastrophic failures

In the next section, we will take a look at the architecture of the overall machine condition monitoring system from Dewesoft.

Dewesoft Condition Monitoring System Architecture

The Dewesoft condition monitoring system consists of these key elements, shown in the following figure:

Dewesoft condition monitoring system architecture

  1. The machines being monitored (robots, motors, bearings, fans, etc.).
  2. Sensors (vibration sensors (accelerometers, proximity probes), microphones, strain gages, current and temperature sensors, pressure and flow meters, thermography cameras, etc.) are installed onto the machines, and their outputs are connected to the measuring units.
  3. Data acquisition devices collect data from sensors and are available in different formats, from small single channel count modules to larger-scale multi-channel modules, rack mounting units, etc.
  4. Measurement units (MU) are industrial computers running the DewesoftX Machine Monitoring package. The main role of the measurement unit is to store raw data and perform calculations to send reduced data to the server.
  5. Dewesoft Machine Condition Monitoring Software includes all the features and functionalities of advanced condition monitoring solutions, data communication between measurement units and the database and 3rd party software as well as access possibilities to the real-time data and historical data over PC client and/or web-client interface.

Condition Monitoring Data Acquisition Devices Overview

It is important to note that all EtherCAT® compatible devices (like IOLITE and KRYPTON) can be connected into the same network, making it possible to build a virtually unlimited channel chain by using a single cable delivering power, synchronization, and data. 

The whole EtherCAT chain is synchronized with deterministic time accuracy within 1 us regardless of cable length. EtherCAT devices can be located up to 100 m (328 ft.) apart.

Very often the measuring environment is not a clean room or a pristine laboratory but is instead a factory, paper mill, metals processing mill, and the like, where the temperature varies drastically, and where water, dust, and other elements are present. 

Dewesoft offers single-channel and multi-channel EtherCAT connected modules for these environments:

  IP Rating Temperature Rating Special Features
IOLITEr IP30 -10 to 50 °C Dual redundant power supplies
IOLITEs IP40 -10 to 50 °C Dual redundant power supplies
IOLITE LX IP40 -10 to 50 °C Low-power ARM processor
IOLITEd IP20 -20 to 60 °C DIN rail mounting
KRYPTON IP67 -40 to +40°C
(-40 to +185° F
Shock: Shock: SIST EN 60068-2-27:2009
100 g, 6 ms, half-sine
Random Vibration: MIL-STD-202G Method 214A, test condition II-D

Comparison of Dewesoft EtherCAT based industrial DAQ systems 

IOLITE R12 rack-mounting DAQ system with dual-redundant power suppliesIOLITE R12 rack-mounting DAQ system with dual-redundant power supplies

IOLITE R8 benchtop DAQ system with dual-redundant power suppliesIOLITE R8 benchtop DAQ system with dual-redundant power supplies

IOLITE LX embedded DAQ system, with a built-in ARM processorIOLITE LX embedded DAQ system, with a built-in ARM processor

IOLITEd single-channel and DIN rail mounting multichannel DAQ modulesIOLITEd single-channel and DIN rail mounting multichannel DAQ modules

KRYPTON series single-channel and multi-channel DAQ modules for the harshest environments

Dewesoft Condition Monitoring Software

The Dewesoft Machine Condition Monitoring software is composed of several components that work either standalone or can be connected together:

  1. Machine Monitoring Software
  2. Historian and OPC UA protocol
  3. Machine Monitoring Client
  4. Monitoring Web Client

Let's look at each of these in detail.

Machine Monitoring Software

The Machine Monitoring Software package is installed on the measurement. It includes all the functionalities and features for advanced machine condition monitoring techniques. It also takes care of data communication between measurement units and the Historian database.

The package includes a rich set of functionalities needed to perform all sorts of machine condition monitoring:

  • FFT analysis
  • Order tracking
  • Torsional and rotational vibration analysis
  • Envelope detection
  • Orbit analyzer
  • Octave-band analysis
  • Rotor balancing
  • Bearings database
  • Data manager
  • Communication protocol support - OPC UA Server, OPC UA Client, Modbus Slave, Modbus Master, and Siemens S7.

The software is installed on the measurement unit in a fixed configuration (no configuration changes are possible). It also provides data communication between measurement units and the Historian database.

Historian Database and OPC UA

Historian provides storage into a time-series database for long-term monitoring or permanent monitoring applications. 

Historian is a database service with local and available cloud-based data logging and storage. It provides storage into a time-series database for long-term monitoring applications. It uses the OPC UA protocol for data transfer between DAQ measuring systems that are providing the data. It can also communicate directly to other 3rd party systems like SCADA, ERP, and more. 

Top-level overview of Historian database service

Before we look deeper, let’s review the meaning behind these important acronyms seen in the picture above.

OPC UA

The OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA) is a platform-independent machine-to-machine protocol that is at the heart of industrial automation. Dewesoft uses the OPC UA protocol for communication between the measurement units, database, clients, and 3rd party software.

SCADA

Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) is a system that gathers and analyzes real-time data. It involves computers, networked data systems, PLCs, and more. It is used for data monitoring and machine control.

ERP

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is software and other systems that are used to plan and manage manufacturing, supply chain, and other processes of an organization.

CMMS

Computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) are databases that contain all of the data related to an organization’s maintenance procedures and operations. 

Using the Dewesoft condition monitoring system, maintenance and plant engineers can monitor vibration, temperature, inclination, strain, pressure, and other data. The data are all streamed to the Historian database, which can be hosted on a local computer system, local server (intranet), or in a cloud (internet). 

The OPC UA standard protocol is supported for data access and integration into Machine Monitoring Software, or SCADA systems, ERPs, or other OPC UA clients.

Typical monitoring screen from the Dewesoft CM System

Historian Database and OPC UA Capabilities

All the raw data from data acquisition devices are collected and processed by measurement units running the DewesoftX Machine Monitoring software

Processed data is sent over the TCP/IP network and stored in the time-series database on the local or cloud-based server. Data can be accessed and viewed on the client PC and served to SCADA systems or Cloud Software using standard interfaces such as OPC/UA or XCP to truly support Industry 4.0 applications.

Measurement units can either provide raw data for further display and calculations to the Client PC or in a reduced format to the Historian Database for permanent storage.

InfluxDB Time-Series Database

Data is stored in a state-of-the-art open-source InfluxDB database. InfluxDB is an open-source time-series database developed by InfluxData. It is written in Go (an open-source programming language) and optimized for fast, high-availability storage and retrieval of time series data in fields such as operations monitoring, application metrics, Internet of Things sensor data, and real-time analytics.

Self-hosted or Fully Managed Hosting

Historian service can either be installed locally on the measurement unit, your local intranet, or Dewesoft can provide a fully cloud-managed service. Monthly fees are charged for hosted cloud-managed services, which cover data storage and maintenance.

A Truly Distributed Architecture

The Dewesoft Historian is designed as a distributed software system. Each component can run on a different system if desired:

  • Measurement Units are instances of DewesoftX (Windows) or Dewesoft RT (Linux, cross-platform) data acquisition software, and use the Dewesoft OPC UA server plugin to communicate with Historian Service.
  • The Historian database service is the core component of Dewesoft Historian. It handles data transfer between DAQ measurement systems, databases, and clients. The Historian Service and the database typically run on the same server, but this is not a requirement.
  • Grafana can also run on a different server if needed because it communicates with the database over Secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTPS).
  • The Historian Service supports connections of multiple Dewesoft software clients at the same time from different systems over the internet or on the local network.
  • NTP on each component provides accurate time synchronization for system operation.

Data Safety and Re-transmit

In case of network failure or downtime, Dewesoft measurement units continue to store the data into the local buffer and will safely transfer the data to the Historian database when the network connection is re-established. There is no risk of losing data because of this redundancy.

Trending and Analytics

Historical data can always be recalled and loaded from the Historian database and used for trend analysis as well as for in-depth analysis and root cause identification.

Data Retention Policy

Engineers can configure how much data is retained in the database, and for how long. Data can be reduced by taking the average of the higher data rate samples and downsampling. Data duration and data rates can be configured using InfluxDB configuration scripts via SQL language.

A Sample default configuration:
(S = sample, therefore S/s = Samples per second)

Data Rate Default Duration Comment
Raw 30 days The original rate at which the channel is written to the database.
10 S/s 60 days Raw data is reduced to 10 S/s after days and stored for 60 days.
1 S/s 90 days Channels stored at more than 10 S/s are reduced to 10 S/s after 60 days and retained for 90 days.
1 S/m 360 days Channels stored at more than 1 S/min are reduced to 1 S/min after 90 days and retained for a year.
1 S/h Infinite Data of 1 sample per hour is never deleted.

Historian Applications and Case Studies

The Dewesoft Historian can be used in many measurements and monitoring applications such as:

Historian Case Studies

See Dewesoft condition monitoring solutions in action by reading the following customer case studies:

Accessible From Anywhere and Anytime

Data stored in the Historian database can be accessed from anywhere in the world and at any time using an instance of Dewesoft-X-Machine Monitoring client or any standard web browser on any device like computer, tablet, or smartphone using Dewesoft-X-monitoring Web client.

A robot welder’s performance is monitored using the Dewesoft HistorianA robot welder’s performance is monitored using the Dewesoft Historian

Machine Monitoring Client

DewesoftX Machine Monitoring Client enables access to the reduced data stored in the Historian database and raw data stored on the measurement units from a local computer. 

The license includes machine monitoring analysis tools on the client preconfigured and ready-to-use. Tools include:

  • Acceleration, Velocity, and Displacement channels
  • Spectrum trend 3D Graphs
  • Continuous and Run-up / Coast-down Monitoring
  • Frequency Spectrum Machine Elements Identification
  • Bearing and Gear Analysis
  • Envelope Detection - Energy and Peak Available
  • Tracking Filters - Advanced Spectrum Analysis
  • Octave Band Analysis and 
  • and more

Learn more about the Dewesoft machine condition monitoring software

A monitoring interface with in-depth analysis capabilities built in the DewesoftX Machine Monitoring Client for a Paper Mill applicationA monitoring interface with in-depth analysis capabilities built in the DewesoftX Machine Monitoring Client for a Paper Mill application

Machine Monitoring Web Client

Monitoring Web Client enables any web client access to the data stored in the Historian database for a real-time and historic overview of monitored channels. It is perfect for a high-level dashboard overview of your monitoring machines. 

Dewesoft Grafana Connector enables standard web browsers (Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Microsoft Edge, etc.) access to the database and includes an open-source Grafana open-source project for the visualization of the stored data. 

Grafana is multi-platform open-source analytics and interactive visualization web application. It provides charts, graphs, and alerts for the web when connected to supported data sources. It is expandable through a plug-in system. End users can create complex monitoring dashboards using interactive query builders.

Dewesoft condition monitoring web clientGrafana web-based monitoring client is perfect for high-level dashboards

Grafana is accessible on any platform - Windows, Linux, Mac OS, etc. It runs on a desktop or mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones. It is an ideal solution for a data dashboard. 

Engineers and maintenance personnel can access condition monitoring data from anywhere, using the phone or tablet in their pocket, or back at their desk on a big computer screen.

Live demo: you can check our real-time demo web-client dashboards monitoring the various Dewesoft facilities:

Dewesoft R&D dark room monitoring

Dewesoft CNC machine tool shop monitoring

Dewesoft HQ power monitoring

Katapult condition monitoring motor demo rig

In Conclusion

Machines break and that’s inevitable. Using condition monitoring system engineers can accurately predict when this is likely to happen. 

With this knowledge, they can move the machine out of production while it’s being repaired or replaced. This prevents most failures and mitigates their impact on production and efficiency. 

Using the Dewesoft Machine Conditioning Monitoring system with its advanced data collection capabilities, cross-platform data access, and visualization tools, maintenance engineers are keeping their processes up and running with the greatest possible efficiency and efficacy. This saves time and money, promotes safety, and guards against the unexpected.